Regardless of the sport, it’s every nation’s dream to win a World Cup. English legends have been created from their actions and achievement on the international stage. Here’s England’s successes in World Cups to date across sport.
Football – Three Lions
Where better place to start than the most commonly recognised and celebrated English World Cup achievement than the 1966 triumph by the England football team. The only time the Three Lions have lifted international football’s most coveted prize.
The 1966 World Cup win was extra special for a few reasons; not only is football England’s most popular sport but also the ’66 World Cup was hosted in England and football truly did “come home”.
Under the stewardship of manager Alf Ramsey and the on-pitch leadership from Bobby Moore, England claimed the Jules Rimet trophy with a World Cup final victory against West Germany. Forward Geoff Hurst was the star of the show grabbing a hattrick in the 4-2 win, including scoring a controversial goal that the referee and linesman had claimed crossed the line, something which is still debated to this day. Thank god for no VAR back then!
Bobby Moore held aloft by his teammates holding the cup is one of the most famous images in world football, but unfortunately for England they are yet to win another. Despite a lack of recent tournament success, the Three Lions always remain a well fancied team in the football spread betting.
Cricket – England T20 & ODI Cricket Teams
There are currently two separate cricket world cups, each catering for a different format of the game. The oldest running Cricket World Cup is the ODI (One Day International) form, which was first played in 1975 in England.
Despite cricket being a traditional English sport, England would have to wait 44 years before tasting success, when Eoin Morgan led his team to England’s first ICC Cricket World Cup (ODI) victory in 2019 on home soil.
With T20 being a modern format of the game, it goes without saying that there have only been a handful of T20 World Cups hosted to date. Unlike the ODI WC, the T20 are played traditionally every 2 years. The first tournament was held in 2007 in South Africa.
England wouldn’t have much luck in the first two tournaments but they would get their hands on their first T20 World Cup title in 2010, when Paul Collingwood’s England beat the old arch enemy Australia in Bridgetown, Barbados.
England came close again in the last T20 World Cup in 2016 where West Indies got the better of England in India.
Rugby Union – England Team
The Rugby World Cup was first held in 1987 when the tournament was hosted by New Zealand and Australia. Like most world cups in sport the Rugby World Cup is hosted every four years.
England share the unwanted record of the joint most runner-ups in the Rugby World Cup, with three in 1991, 2007 and 2019.
They did however, finally get their hands on the Rugby World Cup in 2003 in Australia. Ed Woodward masterminded England’s triumph and the squad included the likes of legends of today; Martin Johnson, Lawrence Dallaglio, Matt Dawson, Jason Robinson and Johnny Wilkinson.
What made England’s victory all the more impressive, was that the final was against Australia (the co-host nation alongside New Zealand), where the England players had to suffer a partisan crowd rooting for the home nation.
Johnny Wilkinson cemented his name in the England rugby hall of fame after his famous drop goal kick secured England’s first ever World Cup triumph with just seconds left on the clock.
Should The Nation Be Winning More?
When you take into consideration the heritage and history of these sports in this country, you can clearly see that the nation is struggling to win major international sports tournaments. Investment in grass roots is key and recent work on the England cricket set up has seen an improvement, with the 2019 world cup win and England ranking number 1 in the ODI format. Despite sport being embedded into our culture, you have to remember that we are a small nation in terms of population compared to a lot of competitor nations, however England clearly should be doing better.